Following predictions that the world is on the verge of a global recession, financial markets have taken a further tumble after figures published by the BBC showed that the smugness of its business editor, Robert Peston, has reached critical levels.
‘There’s no doubt it’s gone to his head,’ said BBC Director General, Mark Thompson. ‘Inflation of Robert’s ego is running at an all-time high and rising interest rates among viewers only seem to be making the problem worse. We’ve tried to get him doing some positive stories about economic growth, but he thinks he’s the poster boy of economic Armageddon. This morning he even reported from outside the Bank of England wearing a sandwich board saying ‘The end is nigh’.’
Those closest to Peston say the problem started when he received widespread plaudits for uncovering the near collapse and subsequent nationalisation of Northern Rock in 2008. ‘Overnight he became unbearable,’ said his wife. ‘He would sit at home watching the lines of people queuing outside banks with a look of fear in their eyes. All he could say was ‘I did that’, over and over again, a smirk spreading across his face.’
‘It didn’t seem to be a problem at first,’ said Helen Boaden, Director of News at the BBC. ‘Although we knew he was becoming a smug git, we didn’t receive many complaints. I think people were still mesmerized by his strange delivery style and probably didn’t understand a word he was saying. But when he was the first person to report on the Lloyds TSB-HBOS merger, the cameraman actually had to zoom out to keep his ever-increasing grin in the shot.’
Analysts are now claiming that the continual presence of Peston’s self-satisfied face on BBC news programming could itself be exacerbating slumps in the market and the ongoing Eurozone crisis. ‘We are urging the BBC to adopt a policy of quantitative easing and pump more business and economics correspondents into their news coverage in order to shore up viewers’ unhealthy exposure to Robert Peston.’
But Peston’s friends are becoming increasingly concerned about his mental health. ‘Robert’s continuous wallowing in bad news is a worry. He has developed an unhealthy phobia of green ‘up’ arrows. It’s not a problem in the studio, but he’s an emotional wreck at traffic lights.’
Perks (hat-tip to waylandsmithy)